US Lawmaker Introduces Bill Prohibiting ‘Surveillance Tool’ Retail CBDC

January 14, 2022, 11:20 AM AEST - 3 days ago

A US lawmaker is seeking to stop the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) directly to its consumers due to concerns over privacy of customers’ data.

CBDCs Are a “Surveillance Tool”

Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer introduced a bill on January 12 that would prohibit the Federal Reserve (Fed) from issuing CBDCs to US citizens. The bill briefly explains why such a product would turn into a “surveillance tool” for the Fed in the future, as customers may be forced to register with the central bank to access their money.

Emmer cited China’s efforts to accelerate the spread of the digital yuan to a broader population within the country, with tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent joining the government to help reach its goal.

However, Emmer believes this will end up in a massive surveillance system directly aimed at Chinese citizens, tweeting that the “US should prioritise blockchain technology with American characteristics rather than mimic China’s digital authoritarianism out of fear”.

Emmer, echoing the majority Republican view, went on to say that the Fed doesn’t have the power to handle these type of demands on its systems like private financial entities do.

As other countries, like China, develop CBDCs that fundamentally omit the benefits and protections of cash, it is more important than ever to ensure the US’ digital currency policy protects financial privacy, maintains the dollar’s dominance, and cultivates innovation.

Tom Emmer, Minnesota Republican

Are CBDCs a ‘Perversion of Crypto’?

CBDCs are simply a digital form of fiat currency issued and regulated by a central bank and/or government authority. Despite continuous efforts by global governments to improve such a product, privacy remains the number one concern, and former NSA consultant and noted whistleblower Edward Snowden concurs.

As Crypto News Australia reported last October, the former NSA consultant argues that CBDCs aren’t so much a form of digital dollar as “something closer to being a perversion of cryptocurrency“.

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